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AI & IoT focused venture capital firm pi Ventures secures $3M from IFC

International Finance Corporation (IFC), the investing arm of the World Bank Group, will invest $3 million into pi Ventures, an AI and IoT-focused early stage venture fund. This is the firm’s second fund addition in this year; it had secured $13 million from a group of angel investors and HNIs. Note that the $13m fund is the first tranche of a total $30 million fund, which the company claims to close within a year.

The venture firm was co-founded by Manish Singhal and Umakant Soni, and will look to in early stage start-ups that focus on solving problems in healthcare, logistics, retail, fin-tech and enterprise sectors using AI, Machines Learning, and IoT. The Bangalore-based VC firm said that it plans to invest in 18-20 start-ups over a 3-4 year time frame.

As of now, pi Ventures has made four investments in the healthcare & energy space:
-It had invested an undisclosed amount last month into NIRAMAI Health Analytix, a startup which uses AI and machine learning to diagnose breast cancer.
-It invested an undisclosed amount into SigTuple, a medical diagnostic startup that performs diagnosis using analytics and patient history.
-pi Ventures also invested around $1.18 million in IoT startup Zenatix that looks at conserving energy/electricity using predictive insights and machine learning.
-Ten3T, a startup that makes wearable medical devices for real-time health monitoring had raised an undisclosed amount of funding from pi Ventures in December.

On the other hand, IFC has also been investing in India in recent times. In the last year alone, IFC invested in two startups: Byju’s Learning, and Lenskart. It also has investments in Portea andTikona. IFC claims that in India, it has committed more than $5 billion as of June 2016. In FY16, IFC committed $1.1 billion in new investments in the country.

Recent startup funds:

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-In January, VC firm Saama Capital raised $57 million in funding as a final close of its third venture capital fund
-In December Jungle Ventures announced the final close of its second fund at $100 million, while Accel Partners raised $450 million for its 5th India fund.

Apart from this, last year, multiple firms launched funds which would be used for internet, technology, electronics and IoT:
-YourNest launched a $45 million fund startups in technology, Ideaspring Capital launched a $18.7 million fund/
-Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital (EVC) announced a $50 million fund for Indian startups.
-IDG Ventures India launched an India-focused tech fund with a target amount of $200 million.
-Nokia Growth Partners announced a new $350 million fund to invest in IoT companies in the US, Europe, India and China.

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